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August 15, 2008
I started with two hens (as chicks). I then decided I wanted two more, so bought some at my local feed and fuel store. I raised the second two in the brooder until they were old enough to go out with the first two. I put them out there and they were fine for a few days, but eventually the first wo started picking on the younger oes. Unfortunately, they killed one. Now I don't dare leave the lone new chicken with the first two, because they pick on her. Is there any way he will ever be able to be with the others? I put them out but separate them by a wire fence. It wuld be so much better for veyone if I could leave them all togther!
February 10, 2009
This is one reason I always suggest people deal with odd numbers when it comes to hens and chicks. If there is only one left because one gets sick or gets killed, it's very sad for the lone chicken. If there are three to start with, there is usually another to chum around with, and since the first two are established pals, it's going to be hard to break the dynamics now.
First off, they should all be close to the same size. Keep ms lonely separate till they're all close to the same size if they aren't there yet. If they are, (or when they are) pull out whichever older hen is the most aggressive, and swap her spot with ms lonely. Now the older hen that is with her will have a chance to bond with her, and hopefully become more friendly. Of course, this could still be trouble for ms lonely so you'll have to keep a close eye on them, but this way, you're changing the dynamics of who is the bully and who is the bullied so there is more hope.
August 15, 2008
February 25, 2012
I add new chickens by putting the newer chicks in a pen inside my run. They all get used to each other, but are still separate. When the new chicks are about 3-4 months old I remove the smaller pen. I also go in the run at night to add the newer chickens to the flock. They wake up in the morning together, and seem to pick on the younger ones less. I have also left a pen in that the larger chickens can't enter to give the smaller ones a refuge, but haven't found that it is really necessary. I've added chicks to my flocks for years, and haven't had a new one killed since I started doing this.
August 30, 2008
I have done all the above. Great advice! Ionce had to segregate a Barred Rock who thought she was the ruler of the world, to try to knock her down the pecking order. It worked for a couple of days, but she reclaimed her position, lol. She was amazingly aggressive. Her next position was the stew pot! I have never had any other issues and use the separate pen, introduce at night methods as described.
May 15, 2011
I just love reading these posts about chickens. I wish I could raise a few chickens but our city ordinance forbids it. A neighbor did attempt it last year but someone reported him and he had to give up the chickens (he told me they wound up in his freezer). If people can let their dogs run loose (even though we have a leash law), what harm are a few chickens? Doesn't make sense to me at all. I'll just have to be satisfied with reading about all your experiences and keep wishing for a small coop and few "girls".
June 1, 2010
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